CLAS 323
From Achilles to Alexander: Leadership and Community in Ancient Greece Fall 2018
Division I Writing Skills
Cross-listed LEAD 323 / HIST 323
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Visionary, opportunist, reformer, tyrant, demagogue, popular champion: concise characterization of influential leaders is often irresistible. But placing leaders in their much less easily encapsulated political, social, and religious contexts reveals them to be far more complicated and challenging subjects. Among the questions that will guide our study of Greek leadership: Was the transformative leader in a Greek city always an unexpected one, arising outside of the prevailing political and/or social systems? To what extent did the prevailing systems determine the nature of transformative as well as of normative leadership? How did various political and social norms contribute to legitimating particular kinds of leader? After studying such leaders as the “tyrants” who prevailed in many Greek cities of both the archaic and classical eras, then Athenian leaders like Solon, Cleisthenes, Cimon, Pericles, Cleon, and Demosthenes, and Spartans like Cleomenes, Leonidas, Brasidas, and Lysander, we will focus on Alexander the Great, whose unique accomplishments transformed every aspect of Greek belief about leadership, national boundaries, effective government, the role of the governed, and the legitimacy of power. Readings will include accounts of leadership and government by ancient Greek authors (e.g. Homer, Solon, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Demosthenes, all in translation) and contemporary historians and political theorists.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 19
Expected: 12
Class#: 1486
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on contributions to class discussions, three short papers (4-6 pages each), a midterm exam, and an oral presentation leading to a significant final paper (10-12 pages)
Prerequisites: none, but a background and/or interest in the ancient world, political systems, and/or Leadership Studies is preferred
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under HIST or LEAD; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under CLAS
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
LEAD 323 Division II HIST 323 Division II CLAS 323 Division I
Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia
HIST Group P Electives - Premodern
LEAD Facets or Domains of Leadership

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